French airforce surrenders to German virus

French fighter planes were grounded in January due to a computer virus.

According to an unnamed Intelligence Magazine quoted by the Telegraph, the aircraft were unable to download their flight plans after databases were infected by a Windows virus. Apparently it was worse for Naval staff, who were instructed to surrender using their computers in case the virus spread.

The Conficker worm started to spread world wide last year, and Microsoft warned of the risks, but apparently mounting an adequate defense against the virus with a patch followed standard French military procedure, and either didn’t happen, or just wasn’t done properly.

Worst hit were the Villacoublay air base and in the 8th Transmissions Regiment, along with the French Navy’s entire fleet of Rafale aircraft.

Bonus points: the virus is German, and the name translates to “program that manipulates the configuration.” No word yet if the British offered assistance.

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